Mapping, Managing and Improving Staff Performance in Access Services

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Harris, Colleen S.
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Libraries are places of constant change in workflow, services, and user expectations, and these changes often impact the public service departments most. Incoming managers are often tasked with assessing the issues plaguing a department and improving the performance within their unit. The proposed paper addresses how Access Services department managers can initiate evaluating services and staff performance for a baseline measurement, establish expectations and department deliverables, involve staff in developing quality control measures, address staff performance deficiencies and acknowledge staff excellence. When it comes to managing staff performance, there is more at stake than simply meeting goals, since a good leader is someone who creates a good work environment and encourages excellence in their staff. The most effective managers collaborate with their staff to engage them as partners in improvement. The paper includes information on: Developing measurements and markers for staff performance and goal achievement. Getting buy-in from staff for performance planning and evaluation. Strategies for helping poorly performing staff improve and avoid official disciplinary action. How to effectively apply disciplinary action when necessary without dampening staff morale. Keeping track of progress towards established goals and setting new goals. Conducting effective annual appraisals. Encouraging and recognizing improved and excellent staff performance. Drawing from the scholarly literature on best practices in performance evaluation, and connecting performance theory to practical examples from real Access services department and recommendations for applying effective performance management principles both at the project team and individual staff member level, this paper is useful for new and seasoned Access Services managers alike. Those who manage library staff in a public services department can easily establish themselves as effective managers and leaders who value their staff with proper planning and communication.
Georgia Institute of Technology Library and Information Center; Georgia State University Library; Georgia Gwinnett College Library; Generation Fifth Applications
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